No more entries! The M9 contest top 15 selection is underway!

WOW! Over 1300 entries came in for the M9 contest. Over 2600 photos!! When this contest started I thought there would be 300-400 entries max but you guys surprised me with your enthusiasm, creativity, and overall excitement for this contest! As the entries came in I separated them into one of three folders. Basically one folder for the submissions that were good, one for the submissions that were better and finally one folder with the submissions that, in my opinion, told a great story. The best of the best all had something to say and the entrants came from all over the world. Some were dark, some were humorous and some were erotic. Overall, every single entry was looked at carefully and I will be posting my top 15 anytime between now and Feb 15th. I want to go over each and every entry one more time to be sure but this is not going to be easy, not at all!

Also, when the top 15 is announced and posted I hope we can all remain civil and respect the decision made. This contest was all about storytelling, using two images to form a narrative. About 95% of you did this and did it well, so that makes my job even harder! No matter who makes it to the top 15 I congratulate all who entered just for getting out there and giving it a shot! I am thrilled that this sparked passion in everyone who participated and I know if I had to come up with two images that told a story it would drive me crazy trying to figure out what to shoot.

So once again, thanks to all who entered. Thanks to Seal for his generosity and overall “coolness” and thanks to the Judges, Heidi Klum and Rankin who will be picking the TOP two winners. Don’t forget to follow one of them over at! Keep an eye peeled every day as the top 15 can be announced at any time, just no later than Feb 15th!


  1. I very excited, good luck to everyone. Don’t forget to whom, we owe this opportunity:

    Thank you very much, Seal, and thank you, Steve!

  2. Oh man this is too nerve wrecking…. i dont want to get my hopes up but Ive been thinking about this contest since i found this site, the 15th cant get here quick enough!

  3. May be a little too much to display all 1300+ entries, but perhaps a gallery with photos from your “submissions that, in my opinion, told a great story” folder would be feasible? Looking forward to see the top 15!

  4. Glad we exceeded your expectations, Steve! It says a lot for the following you have attained with this site. Congrats to the eventual winners!!!

  5. My pictures are probably far from the top 15 but this contest sure has gotten me to think more about my photography… Since it was announced I’ve actually bought myself an M4 (my first Leica) – and gotten started with wet printing in the darkroom!

    Looking forward to seeing the top 15 and many thanks for such a great contest!

  6. Flickr seems to be obvious choice if you want to offload some of the traffic from the site. I’m sure you have the pro account there? If not i can host them on my account, i mean don’t get me wrong just want to help ๐Ÿ™‚

    PS: Nice to see my wife at the front page!


  7. I am looking forward to seeing the other entries. As Pedro said, I don’t expect to be in the top 15, but I did have a great time in pursuing this contest. I found that a little incentive for creativity really pushed me, and in the end, I found that I am happier with the results of my shoot than anything I’ve shot in the last few months. My reward, at this point, is the images I made.

    Thanks again to Steve, Seal, Heidi, and Rankin for offering and judging this great contest. Best of luck to all!

  8. Fingers crossed…..

    Like everyone else I would love to see all the entries showcased in some manner

  9. Oh…this will be so interesting, not for the prize itself, but for the fact that there will be so many good images to look at when they eventually posted up.

    Pedro, the flickr group suggestion is a great idea!

  10. I had a great time doing this.
    I will not be top 15 for sure, but, anyway, i canยดt wait to see those entries.
    And all the others also.
    A Flickr group would be nice, with no trouble to Steve.

  11. It was a great idea to start with, with a great price to up the challenge! I have never been so all over the place mentally trying to commit to an idea… at the end though, I thought that I would rather loose with something that was true to myself rather that try to please the judges. Thank you both for the exercise and opportunity! Can’t wait to see the top 15!

  12. I thought the contest was a great idea with very reasonable rules and requirements. It got me to go out and be creative, and I look forward to seeing the scope of people’s talent. I even got a friend to enter, who shot film on a F1 and FD glass.

  13. Thanks again for hosting this competition, the only negative thing is that there aren’t 1300 M9’s to give away cause I’m sure all of your deserve one =)

  14. Hey looking forward to seeing all the entries, once this is over do you think you could review the Zeiss 28mm F2.8 Biogon, i’m a student and want an affordable semi wide angle. Cheers Steve for setting this up and thanks seal for the prize.

  15. Thanks again, Steve. No matter what happens, I’m really happy you held this competition, because I wound up creating something I really love, and the methods and thought-processes that went into it were outside of my normal “box.” So it was a great experience for me, and the new ways in which I was forced to think are more reward than I could have hoped for. I’m assuming others will have similar experiences, so this contest will have MANY winners.

  16. The value of this competition is incredible. Top international competitions don’t have a prize so valuable. I’m happy to be a part of it. Can’t wait to see some entries! Hope those that aren’t selected are still shared with us!

  17. Steve,

    I’d like to echo Malcom’s comment, and thank you for this competition. Just by participating I feel that I have already won something as this has added a new set of tools to my tool box. The strict confines of the contest rules were cause for much deliberation and thought on my part, and that was exactly what I needed. It has caused me to step out of my normal mode of shooting and to instead explore a whole new way to see the world.

    Good luck to all who entered.

  18. Like Black Pearl said: it was definitely fun …
    Something new to take the camera and have a goal! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sadly I forgot to rename the photos …

    Thank you Steve and have fun with the pictures!

  19. The main problem I had with my 2 was : 1 was portrait format and the next one was landscape ๐Ÿ™

    It was great fun thinking about what to shoot and also come up with a good topic!

    I was hoping for 500ish entries, 1300 is insane ! .08% chance now

  20. Have fun with all that lot – bet it won’t be easy.

    Was fun to have a definite goal when I took the camera out of the bag in stead of just wandering about shooting at random.

    Good luck to all.

  21. Steve,

    thanks for this competition; it made me think creatively about taking photos which is very welcome! Of course it would be lovely to win, but I’m pleased with my attempt, and that counts for a lot anyway!

    All the best with your judging.

  22. Great job Steve… I can’t imagine what your inbox has looked like some days, especially yesterday! You said “I know if I had to come up with two images that told a story it would drive me crazy trying to figure out what to shoot”… let me call that the understatement of the year when it comes to how I agonized over my own entry! Everyone who participated should be proud of taking on the challenge of telling a story with two photos… Not an easy task!

  23. Steve…you must be “toast” after viewing and acknowledging all of the entries!!!! Obviously you are very excited about this!!!!!

  24. Wow Steve, that’s a ton of entries. Contests to everyone who entered and I’m looking forward to seeing the best of the best!

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